It was definitely a family affair this February as Disney Dreamers Academy alumnus Anthony Juba-Richardson and his family visited Walt Disney World for Black History Month to celebrate soulfully with music, food, art, and more!

Juba-Richardson has always had a passion for music. His dreams led him to apply and participate as one of the 100 teens who attended the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy, the annual four-day, transformational mentoring program hosted by Walt Disney World that encourages young people to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.

Juba-Richardson said he continues to apply the lessons learned at Disney Dreamers Academy in pursuit of his goal of becoming a professional musician.  And, in February, he and his mother, Donar, and stepfather, David, visited the “Celebrate Soulfully” experiences at Disney Springs and EPCOT to enjoy an added dose of inspiration.

Together, they admired the artwork on display around Disney Springs from Black artists inspired by the Disney and Pixar film “Soul.”  They dined on specially themed Mardi Gras cuisine at House of Blues while being surrounded by one of the largest collections of American folk art in the U.S., including many by African American artists.  Their day also included a little dancing while listening to the soulful R&B sounds of the band “Motown in Motion.”

Their day ended with a visit to the new “Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure“exhibit at EPCOT.  There, Juba-Richardson was truly inspired when he saw historic artifacts from some of his musical heroes, including Jazz legends Louis Armstrong’s trumpet and Charlie Parker’s saxophone.

As a bonus, Juba-Richardson had the chance to speak with Jackie Herrera, one of the creators of the exhibit and an assistant producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, to learn how it all came together.

Ultimately, the combination of art, music, and food led Anthony to one key lesson from the entire experience. “Never forget, your dream is what’s going to bring you life,” Juba-Richardson said. “Find your purpose!”

And we have some exciting news to share with you! You can still come and be inspired by these experiences, as many extend into March and beyond including the R&B music during Motown Mondays, the “Soul” inspired artwork at Disney Springs as well as the exhibit “Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” at EPCOT.

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